As Ukrainian troops continue to fight against invading Russian forces, they are supported by a growing cadre of civilians. Many among this group, however, have no training or experience. Matt Gallagher, a former US Army officer and veteran of combat in Iraq, recently returned from training some of those civilians in Lviv, the largest city in western Ukraine.

In this episode of The Spear, Gallagher talks with host Tim Heck about his decision to travel to Ukraine, the differences between his experiences as an officer in Iraq and as a private citizen in Ukraine, the training he provided in Lviv, and the human costs of war. As he did in his memoir of Iraq, Kaboom, Gallagher shares reflections that are both personal and profound.

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Image credit: Palinchak